Vae Viator7
Broken Metro
The logo above is a legacy of Snoble but the organisation is pretty much in the hands of Leahy. The "M" inside the black ball is broken, right in the middle.  It is emblematic of an structure which is broken and ineffective.
The LACMTA is  broken to such an extent that we can only be thankful that they don't manage an airline. 
Some times it is fun to play word games. So I took the boastful years-old phrase that the LACMTA likes to paste on everything, “America's Best”, and found that is anagrams to, among quite a few others, “Bacteria Mess”, of course, to be grammatically correct it should be Bacterial, oh well ....  [Anagrams by http://wordsmith.org/anagram/index.html ]

Sire, this is not a riot, it is a revolution. (1)
The Duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt to Louis XVI
(15 juillet 1789)

The Mole reads the papers and other things, so you don’t have to.

Appropriate to the quote above, the French still now how to express their displeasure to their government. This is an action which Americans forgot, sometime in the 1970s, la Taupe believes.

As an example, when the Sarcozy government proposed raising the retirement age to 62, from 60 years old, the citizens reacted. Here is a link to a photo(2) which shows just one demonstration, in Marseille. < http://photo.lejdd.fr/media/images/societe/social/manifestation-marseille-journee-de-mobilisation-greve-retraite/1975159-1-fre-FR/Manifestation-marseille-journee-de-mobilisation-greve-retraite_pics_809.jpg >

La Opnión covered(3) another sad aspect of life in America, undernourished children. Here is a sampling: “Mala nutrición: Un mal nacional
En Estados Unidos, millones de personas no tienen acceso a una nutrición adecuada. … De acuerdo con la publicación de la Asociación Dietética Americana - American Dietetic Association – en Estados Unidos viven más de un millón de niños en hogares en los que no existen garantías de suplir sus necesidades nutricionales.”

Poor nutrition: a national illness In the United States, millions of people don't have access to adequate nutrition. … According to a publication of the American Dietetic Association, there are more than one million children in homes which cannot guarantee access to adequate nutrition.

 [Translation by su Topo, who takes responsibility for any errors or omissions.]

This is truly a sad fact. Yet the larger society seems more interested in the escapades of Paris and Lindsey. The commercial news networks spend endless hours discussing the strategies and tactics used by political organisations in order to ensure their grasp on power. Devoting almost NO time to exactly what is needed. Our political parties do the same, sniping at each other without a thought as to the needs of average citizen in our country.” 
Readers, it is not only the LACMTA which is broken.

This from the LACMTA handy Riders Guide(4):
Tarifa básica de horas no pico para personas mayores de 62 años/ discapacitadas:
Tarifa de ida (cada abordaje): 25¢”

However they neglect to explaine EXACTLY which are the “horas no pico” en Español.. Oh, they didn’t explain the “off-Peak” hours in English either. Yet there were several “Press Releases” produced by “Metro Media Relations” in which they hype this, at best, mediocre work.
Ear to the Rail
No escaping time dilation , get the slide below:

And listen to this MP3 recording:


Here is an article which “explains” testing string theory. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901091938.htm N.B. Reading this won't make you a string theorist, well, it didn't ake me one :-).

Time dilation is somewhat easier to understand, bottom line: More gravity and more speed work together, somehow, to effect time, More gravity slower time, more speed slower time. Ms Eryn Brown of the Los Angeles Times(5) does a nice job dealing with a difficult concept.

The Mole Rides Again, so that you can avoid watching people take money under false pretenses.

2010-09-02 @ 8:30 A.M. I am riding bus number 8307 on the 439 Line and headed to Union Station. This bus has NO ASA, ADADO, Braille ID and thankfully, no TransitTV. It is quiet and I can read without interruption, a rare thing on an LACMTA bus. That is, except for a man at the back of the bus who is making grunting sounds which su Topo interprets as distress.
We arrive at the WLATC and the driver, number 30128, decides to skip the normal first stop at Fairfax , just before Apple Street and turns the corner onto Apple to make the second stop, just before we turn right to join the freeway. A woman who was counting on that first stop, as most of us do, is unhappy because she now has to run back, about a block to make her connection. She attempts to explain to the driver that there is a bus stop marker (“flag”) back there. The driver is unyielding in making the point that he is correct.
2010-09-05 – a 232 Line bus. First Transit (FT) doesn't hire drivers for their social graces and the LACMTA doesn't seem to have any input to FT policies. The woman who is driving this bus has been complaining in a steady stream: about other drivers with whom she is sharing the road and have incurred her wrath for one reason or another. All in a voice that would take the paint off, right down to bare metal, an object.
Another 232 Line ride, on bus # 3149. A driver change at the LAXCBC precedes this run and the drivers complain about the smallness of these new shorter buses, which this Mole calls “stubbies”. The are about eight feet shorter than the forty footers. The have the electronic scroll bars and ASA.
I transfer at Mariposa Station. A train and/or station cleaner waits for the train.
2010-09-06 A 117 operator sells a “paper day pass” to two tourists. It looks like a regular Muni transfer to me.
I ask a 323 operator about selling “paper day passes” she denies that ther is any such policy???
I watch a worker from Shelter Clean <http://www.shelterclean.com/> apply his trade to a bus shelter on the corner of Hawthorne and El Segundo. He was wearing a Metro safety vest and arrived in a Shelter Clean truck, number 240, with a license plate number of 7P65691. He did sort of a half-vast job,  leaving trash under the homeless man who was camped there and left other garbage within a few steps of the actual “shelter” remain where it was.  The worker spent almost as much time chatting with a woman who was waiting for a bus as he did working.
Again, no supervision by Metro and an almost impossible follow-up job because the slob..., I mean passengers and others who will not go three feet out of their way to toss trash in the trash receptacle, will soon have the place again, looking like a pig-sty (with my apologies to the pigs).   A couple with matching backpacks which appear new go through the trash cans looking for recyclables. Of course, visiting the Shelter Clean web site (noted above) gives one the impression that Mr. Clean would blush with shame after seeing these guys effort.
Now, trash receptacles are not always provided. For example, the busy stop at Lincoln and Maxella, which is served only by the Big Blue Bus, which organization doesn't see fit to provide a trash can. This means that users of the bus stop toss things on the ground, into the street or stuff their trash into the plastic piping around the utility poles . A thank you for, well nothing, goes out to Ms Stephanie Negriff, director of transit services for the Big Blue Bus.  How about a trash can at the site, Ms Negriff?,  before somebody shorts out all the power in the Marina by stuffing their trash where it shouldn't be.  By the way, at the same time somebody should CAP those pipes around the poles.
I ride a 40 bus, this one seems to be a favourite with “seat hogs”, to the Green Line and transfer to the Blue Line. At the transfer point I watch as a man dumps the remaining contents of a bottle he has salvaged into the tracks and the stamps on it. Sometime I feel like I live in a third world country.
In the seat next to me on the Blue Line a woman carries on a quiet cell phone conversation in Español; it soon ends.
I return from Long Beach on the Blue Line. A father and son try to outdo each other with the loudness of their cell phone calls. The seem to be attempting a Guinness record for the most expensive cell bill of the year so, I escape to another car.
2010-09-07, morning: Six firemen, some of them paramedics, work on a heavyset man who is lying on their Gurney. An area behind them is cordoned-off with yellow plastic tape the has “Fire Line Do Not Cross” imprinted on it, blotches of something, which turns out to be blood, are pooled in several areas. Th man seems to have an upper body wound. The firemen clean up some of the blood but leave the main job to Metro, good luck.
2010-09-10 On the Blue Line. The man in the adjacent seat is picking at his head causing me to wonder if one can be exposed to something carried in flakes of skin. Oh well, life in the big city, I change seats at the first opportunity.
No luck! The man nearby the new seat is a “chatty Charlie”, talking to and interrupting his fellow passengers. He gets off after several stations and I try to read.
2010-09-12 @ 8:30A.M. At the LAXCBC a man rides his bicycle from newspaper rack to newspaper rack, trying the doors and checking the coin return slots. Not a winner as far as I can tell.
2010-09-15 I am on board an 439 Line bus making an early departure from the LAXCBC. The driver returns my “Good Morning” with a sneer. A woman, seemingly confused, boards just before we depart and fumbles for long minutes for her pass, or something.
I am headed for a meeting Downtown. None of the other attendees travel by bus so the will not comprehend why I might show up late.
The confused woman begins to carry out a an earnest conversation with herself; punctuating her conversation with hiccups. I start to pray that she doesn't throw up.
Using a mirror, which is about the size of a tablet computer, she examines her face and continues the conversation with her reflection.
She address the driver: “Thieves are after my ID, so if you notice anyone coming up to me after my purse, not that it is your responsibility, tell me about it.” The driver doesn't reply.
2010-09-21 I am a frequent traveler n the 439 Line this month. There are three (3) concurrent cell phone conversation ongoing this morning – the end of reading. One of the conversations seem to be an audition of a Rap song, sprinkled with the “N' word. The woman immediately in front of me was taking out her phone as she was sitting down! She has a tattoo running in parallel with her spine, but only the letters “A” and “S” are visible above he collar. She has those too big phony plastic glue-on fingernails, these could be toe nails.
I don't understand how people can see “beauty” is such obviously false appendages. Mollette is my primary model in things feminine. Her nails are her own accented only by nail colour.
I can't read, so I sample A.S. conversation with a man, I can hear his side and identify his gender too, but what he is saying is mostly unintelligible. She: “... we wasn't like really together ...”, “... you're the only person I tell everything to ...”, she shakes her head “no” to something. “... it wasn't important, trust me ...”, she gets off at the WLATC.
I arrive at the Gold Line platform just as a train pulls jn, it is “Out of Service”. After ten minutes or so another train arrives along with another cell phone conversation: “... she could end up in jail, because the police stopped her first ...”.
Same thing on the 439 headed home. “... it sounds to me like he is just not that into you … he doesn't want a relationship”, “... I think you should give him some space and see what happens ...”, “... do you know his code to erase it ….”, “... if you think that she is the one then you should friend her ...”. The conversation move to various social network “walls” and areas in which I have no interest.  Then “... you, know it's not like my life is together, I asked Matt to stop by when he is out of town, he knows I kind of like Matt, … you are younger so it might be different for you and I am 31 ...”, “... so then it seems like he wants to get together with his ex-girlfriend ...”.
2010-09-23 about 8:30A.M. I board a 177 Line bus driven by a large man, operator “86?43”, who hoists himself aboard at the LAXCBC, after his break. He has left the bus idling for the duration of that break. His contribution to fuel costs and global warming. I can't read the middle number because his shirt is creased in such a way that there is no surreptitious way in which I can read it. Yet another reason for scrolling the operator's number, Mr. Leahy?? This must be one of the first runs for this bus, yet it is dirty.
A woman exits the bus, she has a large crown tattooed on her right bicep, under the crown is the letter “B”.
2010-09-24: I am a passenger aboard a Rapid 6 this morning. A woman sits with her back against the outside wall on the right side of the bus, her feet firmly planted on a seat that should hold the aisle-side passenger. She carries on a conversation with some one, seated normally, directly across the aisle. That woman, on the left side of the bus, is sipping a cold drink. These women are more typical of Metro passengers –which they well might be-- than the usual Culver City Bus rider. All in all, I like the R6, I can take it to Westwood and Wilshire and transfer to a 720 to get to Beverly Hills, my destination this morning.   But, I ended up on the 20 Line, which was a little slower but still OK.

A woman drags a heavy bag and an equally heavy wheeled duffel bag into the LAXCBC, cursing all the while.

She approaches several people asking for something, without success. Finally she gets to me. Her body odor is BAD. I decline her request, as much to escape the smell as to deny her the money. Su Topo believes in helping the homeless, by making donations to established charities, such as the Salvation Army or to Fr. Boyle's organizations.

A tall athletic man bounces a ball around the LAXCBC. A man approaches him and begins to deliver a lecture on human nutrition, with an emphasis on amino acids. The athletic man responds in monosyllables. The lecturer continues and ultimately gives up only to watch his bus leave the LAXCBC, Now he faces a one hour wait.
Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
'"I cannot convince or persuade myself that everything that is written in the preceding chapter could have precisely happened to the valiant Don Quixote; and for this reason, that all the adventures that have occurred up to the present have been possible and probable; but as for this one of the cave, I see no way of accepting it as true, as it passes all reasonable bounds. For me to believe that Don Quixote could lie, he being the most truthful gentleman and the noblest knight of his time, is impossible; he would not have told a lie though he were shot to death with arrows. On the other hand, I reflect that he related and told the story with all the circumstances detailed, and that he could not in so short a space have fabricated such a vast complication of absurdities; if, then, this adventure seems apocryphal, it is no fault of mine; and so, without affirming its falsehood or its truth, I write it down. Decide for thyself in thy wisdom, reader; for I am not bound, nor is it in my power, to do more; though certain it is they say that at the time of his death he retracted, and said he had invented it, thinking it matched and tallied with the adventures he had read of in his histories." And then he goes on to say:
The cousin was amazed as well at Sancho's boldness as at the patience of his master, and concluded that the good temper the latter displayed arose from the happiness he felt at having seen his lady Dulcinea, even enchanted as she was; because otherwise the words and language Sancho had addressed to him deserved a thrashing; for indeed he seemed to him to have been rather impudent to his master, to whom he now observed, "I, Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, look upon the time I have spent in travelling with your worship as very well employed, for I have gained four things in the course of it; the first is that I have made your acquaintance, which I consider great good fortune; the second, that I have learned what the cave of Montesinos contains, together with the transformations of Guadiana and of the lakes of Ruidera; which will be of use to me for the Spanish Ovid that I have in hand; the third, to have discovered the antiquity of cards, that they were in use at least in the time of Charlemagne, as may be inferred from the words you say Durandarte uttered when, at the end of that long spell while Montesinos was talking to him, he woke up and said, 'Patience and shuffle.' This phrase and expression he could not have learned while he was enchanted, but only before he had become so, in France, and in the time of the aforesaid emperor Charlemagne. And this demonstration is just the thing for me for that other book I am writing, the 'Supplement to Polydore Vergil on the Invention of Antiquities;' for I believe he never thought of inserting that of cards in his book, as I mean to do in mine, and it will be a matter of great importance, particularly when I can cite so grave and veracious an authority as Senor Durandarte. And the fourth thing is, that I have ascertained the source of the river Guadiana, heretofore unknown to mankind."'

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616), Don Quixote (1605), Chapter XXIV

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 6482;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.
I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: None observed, but they are out there!;
Codes: (i) Extended conversation(s) with passenger(s) or (ii) cell phone call(s). Frequently, details can be found in the text above, (ii*) cell phone call(s) which are aggravated by some other action, (iii) Self-distracted. Codes (ii*) and (iii) will ALWAYS be explained in the posting.
I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers: 6370;
~UR or +UR = (+UR) whois sticker and the ugly residue left after passengers partly remove the sticker. (~UR) = Only the ugly residue left after passengers almost completely remove the sticker. +L = an old (legacy) sticker black letters on a plain white background –these are the original form of defacement.
* Another reason for displaying the operator's ID on the internal display and the headsign.

ID numbers of Buses whose Head and Tail signs disagree: n/a;
Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

La Taupe's Abréviations
ADADO = Automatic Destination Announcement (on) Door Opening. This feature is installed on many buses and operates on extremely few. Another “money down the toilet” LACMTA investment. La Taupe that this is intended for the visually impaired because people who can see can read the “head signs”.
ASAS = Automatic Stop Announcement System the GPS (Global Positioning System) driven mechanism for generating audio for the upcoming stops. N.B. Because of the low power (read weak) processors used in the on-board stops may be too close to identify stops separately. This is know as a granularity problem. Then too, if the driver operates the bus at speed above the speed limit you will find the system “back announcing” stops which you have already passed. I find that this will NOT keep some drivers from complaining “that you didn’t signal (ring) in time. They don’t understand their relationship to the system and how, by driving faster than the GPS computer, they can bias it.
BBB = Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus
CC or CCMBL = Culver City (Municipal) Bus (Lines)
CCTC = Culver City Transportation Center this is the place formerly known as FHMTC = the Fox Hills Mall Transportation Center (Sepulveda & Slauson)
FFE = Full Fare Equivalent (presently $1.25)
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
Rapid Transit = does not compete for right of way, that is, it will not run at grade unless it has EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED USE of the right of way).
TT = Torrance Transit.
T1 = the normal type of driver/staff.
T2 = is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,
T3 = the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.
WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax & Apple)
Su Topo’s Disclaimer and apologia
Your Mole always attempts to write an easy-on-the-eyes page using text input. Blogger.com however, has other ideas and will often not stay with a single font type or point size, produces extraneous spacing and etc. I wish I had time to debug the HTML which they produce, it is NOT the straight text which I pasted into the form, but I don’t. Therefore, I apologize on behalf of Blogger.com for the changes which they make, of which I do not approve. Sometimes, what I see, thankfully you don’t, is 24 point type –it is giant and other times they swallow my text, although it still seems to be there. In fairness to them, things seem better, although this is partly because I do understand which of their “features” do the most damage to me and consequently do not use them. Communicating these problems to them, for me, is something like having teeth extracted without the benefit of anesthetic, actually it is less fun than that. By their design, there is no simple e-mailing them with "Please look at my say, posting of 2009-06-28, it is weird!” I am hoping that one of their developers will some day read this, copy my code and improve their text to HTML engine. Until then, lo siento.
Mole’s Copyright Statement
All photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2009 by LAmetroMole. Clicking a photo will often* present you with an enlargement. *This feature is dependent upon the Internet browser which you use and possibly other factors.
This site contains or provides links to copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, sustainable development, environmental, community and worker health, public disclosure, corporate accountability, and etc. We have often included relatively brief quotes from articles and etc., sometimes in addition to a simple link, because we have found that links frequently go "bad" or change over time. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes and to those who access the site via any and all other channels. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Music or other recorded material on this site, or referred to by this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are made available here for evaluation purposes only. Please support the artists you like by buying their commercial CDs, MP3s and downloads.

Your Mole’s Conflict of Interest Statement
This is to certify that I, the blogger who is known as the LAmetroMole, with respect to this blog, except as described below, am not now nor at any time during the past year have been, nor it my current intention to ever be:
1) A participant, directly or indirectly, in any arrangement, agreement, investment, or other activity with any vendor, supplier, or other party doing business with any of the entities about which I have written, which has resulted or could result in personal benefit to me.
2) A recipient, directly or indirectly, of any salary payments or loans or gifts of any kind or any free service or discounts or other fees from or on behalf of any person or organization engaged in any transaction with any of the entities about which I have written.
Any exceptions to 1 or 2 above are stated below with a full description of the transactions and of the interest, whether direct or indirect, which I have (or have had during the past year) in the persons or organizations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.
There are no exceptions.
Date: 2009-06-24 S/ LametroMole


  1. Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution”. (Knopp 1989) pp8.

  1. NA. “Photo of a Street Demonstration in Marseille”. Sep 2010. www.lejdd.fr Last Accessed: 26 Sep 2010.

  1. Luisa Fernanda Montero. “Mala nutrición: Un mal nacional”. La Opinión. 16 Septiembre 2010. http://www.impre.com/laopinion/ Link: http://www.impre.com/laopinion/vida-estilo/salud/2010/9/16/mala-nutricion--un-mal-naciona-211044-1.html#commentsBlock Last Accessed: 26 Sep 2010.

  1. Not Identified. “Guia de Metro guia para el bolsillo”. LACMTA . http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/riders_guide/images/pocket_guide_spanish.pdf . Last Accessed: 26 Sep 2010.

  1. Brown, Eryn. “Relativity cut down to size”. Los Angeles Times. 25 Sep 2010: Science File:A16.


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